Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

March 27, 2014

Iroquois Complex stone walls to be replaced

By Bera Dunau Staff Writer
Cooperstown Crier

---- — The two stone walls at the Iroquois Complex are being replaced.

The walls were originally built as part of an estate constructed by a member of the Clark family in the first half of the 20th century. The two original buildings that were behind the walls are now gone, and the walls now border the Iroquois Complex on Susquehanna Avenue, which includes a garage, a greenhouse and a warehouse. The complex is located across from the Clark Sports Center.

Both the walls and the complex are owned by the Clark Foundation. The Clark Foundation, along with the Leatherstocking Corporation, monitors the condition of all the structures owned by the Clark Foundation. 

“We have a process of continually monitoring all the structures,” said Joe Middleton, Senior Vice President of the Leatherstocking Corporation.

It was because of this monitoring that the condition of the two walls was discovered not to be sound.

“The condition was worse than what we originally determined,” said Middleton.

Middleton said that the walls had been repaired twice before, but that the latest inspection showed that they needed to be replaced.

“It wasn’t difficult at all,” said Middleton, on the decision to replace the walls as opposed to repairing them again, saying it was a matter of structural integrity.

Work on the new walls began this winter, and is being supervised by the Leatherstocking Corporation.

“We wanted that wall to have a uniform and historically correct appearance by induction (weekend),” said Middleton, on why construction was started in the winter.

While Middleton said that the goal of the project is to have most of the construction finished by induction weekend at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which will take place this year from July 25 to 28, he noted that some detail work might continue after that date.

He also said that starting the work in the winter had allowed them to get competitive pricing on the job. Middleton said the work is being done by Tom Edwards Masonry, which is based out of White Sulphur Springs.

“Very,” said Middleton, when asked if he was satisfied with the company’s work so far.

All of the stone for the new walls is a freshly quarried mixture of granite, the same type of stone used in the original walls. Middleton said that the original stones would be used for fill, although the grandson of the walls’ original stonemason was allowed to take away a few of the originals for preservation.

Each of the two walls, which run parallel to one another, will be 750 ft long, just like the walls they are replacing.